Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) - The preparations of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are going on in full swing to smoothly arrange the 12th edition of the SAFF Championship, now known as SAFF Suzuki Cup, which will kick off at Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) here on September 4.
LOC Chairman and Senior Vice-president of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Abdus Salam Murshedy on Friday said, “We have lapses in some areas of our preparations, including the renovation of seats at the stadium with a capacity of 23,000 audience. But we hope to successfully hold the event with our best efforts.”
The LOC chairman was talking to reporters at a press conference at the BFF House.
Of the participating nations, Sri Lanka are already in the capital after their FIFA Friendly match against Bangladesh at Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari on August 28 which they won 1-0, arriving here on August 26.
Bhutan and Nepal are scheduled to arrive here on September 2 while India and the Maldives on September 3. The schedule of Pakistan’s arrival is yet to be confirmed.
Abahani Club playground, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club playground, Dhanmondi, Navy playground and ABPN playground have been designated for team practice.
The participating teams will stay at three hotels -- The Westin, FARS Hotel and Hotel Purbani.
Tickets -- Tk 100 for VIP Box, Tk 50 and Tk 20 for galleries -- for the tournament will be available at the BFF House, BNS and Dhaka Metropolitan Football League Committee office from Saturday.
Salam Murshedy expressed optimism to revive their glory of Bangladesh football through a successful campaign in the tournament, though the hosts had no much sounding achievement in recent times.
“I hope Bangladesh will play the final. We need only a winning start to bring back our football loving-people to the stadium as I believe football is still a popular game in Bangladesh,” he added.
Bangladesh have been seeded in the Group A to play against Bhutan, Pakistan and Nepal on September 4, 6 and 8 in the group stage matches respectively. Nepal will face Pakistan in the biennial tournament opener.
Defending champions India will face Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Group B matches on September 5 and 9.
On completion of the group stage battles, top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals to play on September 12 before the final on September 15.
This is the third time -- after 2003 and 2009 -- Bangladesh is going to host the event since its inception in 1993.
Bangladesh tasted title once in 2003 when they defeated the Maldives 1(5)-1(3) in the final in penalty shootout at home.
Nilphamari, Aug 29 (UNB) – Bangladesh conceded a solitary goal defeat against visiting Sri Lanka in their one-off FIFA Friendly match at jam-packed Sheikh Kamal Stadium here on Wednesday.
Mohammad Fazaluzzaman scored the match winner by a right-footed long shot from midfield in the 11th minute as his shot fired the net edging the crosspiece, 1-0.
Bangladesh could not stage a comeback from the position although they played an attacking game after 70 minutes and created fruitless chances one after another till the end.
The friendly battle, which started at 4 pm, pulled huge local crowd at the venue hosting the first international event with a capacity of 20,000 audience.
Both sides played the match ahead of their campaign in the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup Football’2018 beginning on September 4 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Rajshahi, Aug 29 (UNB) – Gigantic multinational Unilever’s leading men’s shampoo brand “Clear” accorded a reception to the national U-17 Football Champions Rajshahi Sonadighi High School at the Uttara Community Centre in Rajshahi on Wednesday.
The high officials of Rajshahi Divisional Sports Association, Unilever Bangladesh and the teachers, students and guardians of the champions Sonadighi High School were also present in the function.
General Secretary of Rajshahi District Sports Association Rafius Sams Pady, General Secretary of Godagari Upazila Sports Association Prof. Akbar Ali, Head Teacher of Sonadighi High School M Mainul Islam and the Manager of Northern Region of Unilever Bangladesh Sabbir Al Harun spoke on the occasion.
The reception was followed by a rally that paraded the main parts of the city and a cultural program.
Sonadighi High School, under Godagari Upazila of Rajshahi, clinched the National U-17 Football crown defeating BAF Shaheen School of Dhaka in the final at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on May 12, among 272 participating school teams from all over the country.
The best 26 players have also been picked up for the national football camp. In continuation of the first year’s success, Clear Men in association with Bangladesh Football Federation will keep organizing the tournament in the years to come.
Dhaka, Aug 29 (UNB)- The countrywide Bangabandhu Gold Cup Under-17 National Football Tournament, organized by Youth and Sports Ministry, will begin on Saturday (Sept 1) at Sheikh Russel Mini Stadium of Barhatta Upazila in Netrakona.
Some 1,25,000 promising footballers of 5,500 teams will compete in the tournament in four phases--union, upazila, district and division level.
Later, 40 talented footballers will be picked from the tournament to undergo intensive training under Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and as well to make necessary arrangement to admit some eligible players in BKSP, Savar.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Dr Biren Sikder disclosed it at a press conference at the NSC conference room on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy and chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Youth and Sports Ministry Zahid Ahsan Russell were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the pressmen, Dr Biren Sikder said his ministry was inspired to organize this new tournament to ‘bridge the Bangabandhu and Bangamata football tournaments’ – the latter being the name bestowed on the equivalent age group football championship for girls.
A budget of Tk 15 crore has been earmarked for the tournament
London, Aug 29 (AP/UNB) — Saido Berahino, once one of the hottest young strikers in English soccer, ended a 2 1/2-year goal drought Tuesday to help second-tier Stoke into the third round of the English League Cup at the expense of Premier League club Huddersfield.
The 25-year-old Berahino scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win as he tries to revive a career that stalled over the last couple of seasons.
He was called up for England in 2014 after showing prolific form for West Bromwich Albion, marking a remarkable rise for someone who fled war-torn Burundi at age 10 after learning to play football by using makeshift balls made from plastic bags and rolled-up socks.
But he quickly lost his way, was sold to Stoke and rarely featured as the team was relegated from the Premier League.
Huddersfield, which has collected just one point from its opening three league games, ended up exiting the competition in farcical fashion with Juninho Bacuna scoring an own-goal from about 40 yards (meters) out after volleying the ball over his own goalkeeper.
Brighton lost 1-0 to fellow Premier League team Southampton, while Cardiff was another top-flight team to go out after losing 3-1 at home to Norwich.
West Ham picked up its first win under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, beating 10-man AFC Wimbledon 3-1 after falling behind. Leicester was the biggest winner of the night by thrashing third-tier Fleetwood 4-0, and Bournemouth eased to a 3-0 victory over fourth-tier MK Dons to continue its impressive start to the season after collecting seven points from a possible nine in the Premier League.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Fulham also beat lower-league opposition to advance.